Untitled (NO/CACTUS) OUT OF THE INDEX (R.S.)
laser cut mixed media on Hessian
33 × 21 cm
Inv. No. 0383
There was a time when the artist Nicolas Jasmin acted under the pseudonym N.I.C.J.O.B., a flashy logo like those common among DJs. The works created between 1996 and 2006 actually had a lot to do with the cut-up technique of sampling. They were film and video works for which Jasmin used found footage as material, manipulating it and mixing it into new sequences of images.
Today, Nicolas Jasmin describes that decade as a 'detour', starting from and moving towards painting. As early as 1989, while studying with Arnulf Rainer at the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts, he imposed a set of rules on himself, the Painting Dogma. It prescribed burlap as a painting ground, for example, and forbade format-filling painting.
In 1994 Nicolas Jasmin began to work for Walter Obholzer, Austria's most important representative of conceptual painting. Both artists were united not only by their understanding of painting as a system of reflection and thought, but also by a general interest in questions and problems of the medium. Until Obholzer's early death in 2008, Jasmin, most likely out of respect and collegiality, eschewed the use of this art form in his own work. In 2011, he resumed painting and in 2019, with the exhibition Nicolas Jasmin Und Andere Arbeiten at Belvedere 21, he delineated a very personal résumé.
The four paintings in the evn collection belong to the extensive group of works Track List Paintings (2018). With them, Nicolas Jasmin follows the historical concept of Dogma paintings: small vertical formats, alternations of figure and ground, vanishing points in the upper part of the picture. New additions include experiments with laser technology – a process of subtraction, in contrast to the additive principle of paint application.
Black paint on burlap, etched in capitals are performers, song titles and track durations of two numbers: an echo of the iconic vinyl single. Reading the vertical text arrangement horizontally from left to right, the titles morph into Japanese haikus, such as Morning Mirror Dew Man, or The Grateful Captain Dead Beefheart.
The works are part of the OUT OF THE INDEX (R.S.) series and are based on the record collection of legendary land-art artist Robert Smithson. Art critic Valentin Tatransky created the index shortly after Smithson's death. Jasmin's compilation could be, on the one hand, an individual best-of list, or, on the other, an exciting remix of Smithson's jukebox, ranging from Edgar Varese to Marlene Dietrich, from Frank Sinatra to The Velvet Underground.
Brigitte Huck, 2021 (translation: Virginia Dellenbaugh)Continue reading